Niccolò Casnici, Marco Castellani

Finance in firms and firms in finance: The case of the Brescian manufacturing district

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Industry Studies, Manufacturing; G23; Institutional Investors; G32; Capital and Ownership Structure.

This article presents an empirical research on the financialization processes of manufacturing companies in Italy. We focused on the district of Brescia, one of the strategic industrial areas at national level: by considering the entire population of joint-stock companies operating in the sector (currently about 6,000), we studied the diffusion of finance-oriented management logics between 2010 and 2018. We then measured the degree of penetration of financial shareholders within the companies of the district. Furthermore, we analyzed the intertemporal relationship between ownership structures and financialization processes. To this end, we estimated a series of longitudinal models, which allowed us to investigate the tendency of companies to (i) reduce the number of employees, (ii) increase short-term financial assets and (iii) increase the incidence of financial income with respect to sales. The results show that financial logics are gradually advancing, even in a context in which family ownership and medium-small company dimension have always prevailed. Our study highlights the importance of analyzing not only regulatory and macro-institutional frameworks, but especially the organizational fields, since financialization processes are often triggered by relationships between companies and surrounding actors.

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